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Suffolk Notebook: County Exec Urges All to Get Flu Shots

Vaccine 62 percent effective this year, health department says.

An early and intense flu season is putting Suffolk residents on edge, with many scrambling to find a flu shot as supplies dwindle.

It's exactly what County Executive Steve Bellone is urging locals to do.

“It’s not too late to get your flu shot,” County Executive Bellone said in a statement. “This isn’t just about protecting yourself, getting a flu shot is about protecting your family and those closest to you.”

According to Google's map of flu trends across the country, New York is in the grips of an "intense" flu season and The Centers for Disease Control has credited it with causing the death of 18 children across the country.

The CDC also said this year's vaccine is a good match for the flu strains that affecting people, and added that it's crucial that children over six months old get immunized.

“Most people who become infected with the flu will suffer with fever, congestion, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches over the course of a week or two and will eventually recover completely, said the County's Health Commissioner James Tomarken. “However, some are at greater risk for serious complications that can lead to hospitalization or even death. The good news is that immunization can help protect us from the flu.”

On Friday, many local pharmacies ran very low ont he vaccines, with others running out completely.

"Due to high demand caused by the early outbreak of influenza, some of our locations may experience intermittent, temporary shortages of flu vaccine, but we still have vaccine in stock and we resupply our pharmacies and clinics as quickly as possible," Mike DeAngelis, public relations director for CVS pharmacies, told Patch.

The CDC also offered the following tips:

  • Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctors’ offices, clinics, local health centers, pharmacies, college health centers and places of business.
  • Though this year’s flu vaccine has shown to be 62 percent effective, some people may still get the flu; however, their symptoms will be milder than if they had not received the vaccine.
  • Students and adults should stay home from school or work if they develop influenza-like illness, such as fever, congestion, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches lasting a week or two.
  • If you do get sick, wash hands often and cover your coughs and sneezes. It’s best to use a tissue and quickly throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. This will prevent the spread of germs.
  • Get plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids.
  • Individuals who are particularly vulnerable to complications from influenza should seek medical attention at the first signs of illness. This includes adults over 65 years of age, young children, pregnant women, those with diabetes, heart disease, neurological conditions, or chronic lung diseases, such as asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and those who are severely obese.

County to Host Community Policing Forum

Bellone this week also announced a community policing forum to take place on Jan. 14, at 6 p.m., at the Brentwood Public Library.

Panelists will include Maryann Slutsky, moderator and executive director of Long Island WINS; Beresford Adams, pastor Faith Baptist Church of Coram and president of Brookhaven NAACP; Gregory Maney, professor of sociology and co-director for Hofstra University's Center for Civic Engagement; Suffolk County Police Department Chief James Burke; Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Suffolk County Police Department Risco Mention-Lewis; Assistant Deputy County Executive Errol Toulon Jr. and Luis Valenzuela, executive director of Long Island Immigrant Alliance.

Yurmama January 13, 2013 at 02:42 AM
Greedy rich fishermen are poisoning the public with mercury!!! Be aware!!!
Yurmama January 13, 2013 at 02:44 AM
Round up all the fishermen and give them a "shot" of their own poison and watch them die a slow, horrible death.....long live the vegetable!
Yurmama January 13, 2013 at 02:47 AM
The POTUS and every doctor and scientist at the CDC should be brought up on charges for participating in this fraud! Makes me sick! Where's Jesse Ventura when you need him??!!
Jessi10 January 13, 2013 at 02:50 AM
Only certain kinds of fish have .3ppm or more of mercury, most have less than .29 and personally I haven't eaten any of the fish on the .3 or more list. Either way, I'd rather eat 167 delicious pieces of sushi a year than inject a vaccine I don't need in my body once a year, but hey that's just me.
Yurmama January 13, 2013 at 02:52 AM
No amount of mercury is good for you. All while we're at it we should also fight against those deodorant conglomerates for poisoning our pits with aluminum!
John K Massaro January 13, 2013 at 03:48 AM
I'll pass on the sushi. Yuck. Arthur Treachers or Mrs Pauls is the closest I come to seafood... LoL.
Wendy Tarlow January 13, 2013 at 04:14 AM
I had my shot this year as an immunocompromised person with Cancer but it isn't worth a Damn when you have to live with a Public that doesn't believe in staying inside when they are sick or keeping their kids home when they are sick. And often times you may have been exposed three days before you are symptomatic by another naysayer to Flu shots who doesn't believe in protecting the elderly, Children, Weak, or Sick, so you guys just keep on spreading your germs and putting us Sickly ones who do get our shots to protect ourselves at risk. While I was lucky enough to have a weakened response and to catch it instantly and start treatment immediately with TamiFlu, not all would have been that lucky and that is how people die. So keep preaching your BS. But do the rest of us a favor when you don't get shots and increase epidemics, lock yourselves inside your houses and stay there with your herbs.
BlueTeeth January 13, 2013 at 11:02 AM
When the Illuminati say we have to hurry and do something, you need to be very suspicious. Somehow for 1995 years our civilization existed and flourished without flu shots. At some point it became a life or death situation. Probably just a coincidence that this occurred right around the time that the internet and media blew out this current 24/7 new cycle with competition from bloggers and internet denizens. In the words of the ever so wise Flava-Flav: ''Don't believe the hype''.
Wayne D. January 13, 2013 at 01:44 PM
As my late wife said "Eat right, stay fit, die anyway" and so it goes !!!
Judi Fouchet January 13, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Perhaps one should read this about the effectiveness of the flu shot - written by a pro-vaccine professional..... http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/05/reassessing-flu-shots-as-the-season-draws-near
Judi Fouchet January 13, 2013 at 02:03 PM
You are absolutely right on one point. People who are ill, should stay home and treat their illness and keep it to themselves. I do not believe in the efficacy of the flu vaccine- however, when I got the flu this year - lasted about 72 hours for me because of the way I use my immune system to help fight illness ALL the time, I stayed HOME. Missed work, lost income, didn't go to the grocery store, church, etc. Kept my kids away from me and ensured they did not get sick, which they didn't. When my kids are sick I keep them HOME. Our society needs to understand flu shot or no flu shot - there will ALWAYS be viruses and illness floating around and the best way to deal with it is to stay home, rest and take care of our body so it can rid itself of the illness without passing it to the next person. We will never be able to vaccinate for every virus out there and these flu vaccines are less than 60% effective - which means even if I get one there is still a 40% chance of me getting the flu and passing it to you. Not for nothing, I feel for you as a cancer survivor and a widow of a cancer victim but you are absolutely wrong to belittle people who have begun to look more closely at the bodies immune system and are finding natural remedies and practices are actually more effective than what the medical establishment is selling. I pray for you to beat your cancer and then begin to research why it occurred in the first place, it's a hard nut to swallow. I truly wish you well.
tim January 13, 2013 at 03:04 PM
My doctor recommended a flu shot. I had never had one. I told him that I never get the flu anyway, but he talked me into it. 10 days later I had the Flu...lol Sicker than I had been in years.
Stupor January 13, 2013 at 03:16 PM
“It’s not too late to get your flu shot,” County Executive Bellone said in a statement. “This isn’t just about protecting yourself, getting a flu shot is about protecting your family and those closest to you.” and County to Host Community Policing Forum Bellone this week also announced a community policing forum to take place on .... in the same column. Classic. Hey, this isn't about just protecting you, its about protecting the grand society. In related news, there is a community policing forum being sponsored by Suffolk County. Be sure to turn on your fellow citizen and the man will allow you to have the appropriate amount of pain pills if you're staring at the ceiling in one of his hospitals.
KJM January 13, 2013 at 05:04 PM
sorry tim, but you canNOT get the flu from the flu shot, unless the vaccine was Flumist, a live virus that is sprayed in the nose. If you received an injection, it was inactivated. It takes 2-4 weeks for your body to build up an immunity to the flu, so in your case you were already exposed and infected.
KJM January 13, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Jessi10 - that link you put up directs people to the South Dakota Department of Environment & Natural Resources WASTE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM/HAZARDOUS WASTE SECTION, which is by no means any authority on healthcare. Try the FDA here: http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/UCM096228#t3. The only flu vaccine that contains thimerasol and mercury are multi-dose vials. If you receive a single-dose injection, it's preservative free (no thimerasol or mercury). Stay healthy and keep fishing! ;)
John Gruber January 13, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Is there a conspiracy theory you DON'T subscribe to?
John Gruber January 13, 2013 at 05:44 PM
people can have adverse reactions to the flu shot just like any other medical treatment
Susie Schlomann January 13, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Jessi10 - Thanks for the stats on mercury. Not many discussions include actual info - usually limited to the name calling we see up top which is pretty juvenile.
Susie Schlomann January 13, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Thanks for the article, very interesting.
tim January 13, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Dear KJM, I never suggested that I got the flu from a flu shot. The only time I received a flu shot I got the flu 10 days later. The point? The flu shot did nothing to prevent it. And the only time I get the shot, I get the flu...just ironic that's all.
Yurmama January 13, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Susie doesn't look like she eats healthy, she should get the shot
Rosie Grier January 13, 2013 at 06:54 PM
I know they SAY you can't get the flu from the flu shot, but I don't believe it. I have heard that story too many times to believe it can't make you sick.I think it depends on your body. Some people don't get sick, some do. I'm not taking that chance.
Americanivory January 13, 2013 at 07:34 PM
It's ALL about the money - my husband's doctor asked him if he wanted the flu shot, he said no and didn't get one. Next thing the insuance company sent us a benefit explanation for the visit and yep, you guessed it,the doctor charged the insurance company for the flu shot and were paid. We called the doctor's office and insurance company twice on this and NOTHING was ever done about it!!! So it's all about lining the pockets folks, it's probably saline solution in the shot!!!
Rosie Grier January 13, 2013 at 07:42 PM
I believe that money has a lot to do with it. After all, when is money NOT involved? But I wouldn't go THAT far.
Yurmama January 13, 2013 at 09:56 PM
It's a ploy to make money and calling it "public safety". Traffic lights, stop signs, and seatbelt/helmet laws are also a money making scheme in the benefit of "public safety". They're trying to run your life! Don't believe the hype! Next time you get in your car, don't wear your seatbelt, ignore all the stop signs and traffic signals. They say we should do it for public safety, what do they know!?! They just want to collect money from the tickets they write!!
Wendy Tarlow January 14, 2013 at 01:34 AM
wow, you guys need some major paranoia classes of some sort. or xanax. are you all serious? or sarcastic? pretty scary! I don't however disagree with someone like Judi Fouchet who sounds like a reasonable and responsible member of society. if you are sick, stay home and protect your kids from you. or all bunker down till it is over. It is everyone's choice whether they get a shot or vaccine or not. I don't believe in mandatory vaccines or shots. but stay home if you are sick and don't spread it. Protect people. I don't disagree with herbs either. Build your immune systems. I do! I have to. I would be stupid if I didn't seek alternative treatments after being poisoned from chemos and toxic sick crap that is available at this point to keep cancers at bay. Most modern medicine is not good enough and there isn't enough money going to alternative medicines and alternatives that do work but that is our fault as a society that we don't insist that our Government fund more of these programs. We are not Victims but we sure let our Government Victimize the hell out of us.
Frank T January 14, 2013 at 01:52 AM
You need a new doctor. He's a thief if that was an intential charge for a service he did not perform.
Argile January 14, 2013 at 04:35 AM
Anyone remember Richard Daines? He was the head of the NYSDOH back in 2008 and spearheaded the whole campaign against healthcare workers "Get your flu vaccine or be fired." during that whole H1N1 hype. Guess what? He never got the H1N1 vaccine. Neither did President Obama. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/10/20/obama_gets_a_flu_shot_but_not.html FYI his wife worked for Goldman Sachs who is a manager of private client services at Goldman Sachs which funds Novartis (flu vaccine) and other vaccine producers. Immediately following this revelation Gov. Paterson rescinded the mandate citing a shortage of the H1N1 vaccine. LOL yeah, right. Sure there was a shortage... There's a lot of info on this: http://educate-yourself.org/vcd/dainesretreats23oct09.shtml Personally, I have no problems with vaccines except for the flu vaccine. I've been sick with it and without it. But what really cracks me up are all the one's on their soap box saying that everyone should get the vaccine yet are unvaccinated for many other things that are just as dangerous. How many of you have gotten your MMR, Hep B, TDAP, and HPV vaccinations? Yeah I didn't think so. Funny how adults are the first to push children in front of a needle 30+ times but are too cowardly to go do it themselves. You must think you have some sort of super immune system! LOL I'll just call you wussbags instead.
Argile January 14, 2013 at 05:46 AM
You can't compare 1918 to today! LOL The standards of living are a century apart. Today everywhere in the US we have hot food, hot water, medicine, hospitals, shelter, heat, etc. Most people don't even need to leave their homes when they get the flu to recover. In 1918 you'd be lucky if you had a bed and a blanket.
Argile January 23, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Have a side of Narcolepsy with that H1N1 flu shot! http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/22/us-narcolepsy-vaccine-pandemrix-idUSBRE90L07H20130122


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